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Last updated: 07/29/03

DRIVE BAYS.  The case has six drive bays: one partially exposed and two hidden 3 1/2" bays, and three exposed 5 1/4" bays.  The partially exposed 3 1/2" bay is for the floppy drive and has plunger to activate the floppy eject button drive and a molded slot through the front to insert and remove floppies.

Putting a 3 1/2" floppy in one of these cases can be challenging the first time. The 3 1'2 bays are in a removable cage.  You have to reach under at the front of the cage and towards the right side of the case to activate a clip to release the bay and really wiggle the cage with some force to get it out.  The cage is also secured with a single screw.  The Panasonic floppy drive I installed did work fine with the molded plunger.  5 1/4" drives are easily installed without rails.

I would have liked another exposed 3 1/2 drive for a Zip drive, etc.

Translucent dust covers are included for all of the 5 1/4" bays.  Surprisingly, a beige CD-ROM drive did not spoil the over-all translucent appearance of the case--I thought it would look like yuck before I installed it.  A translucent front on the drive would have looked better, but is probably impractical to manufacturer for all of the drives out there.

I/O.  The case comes with on ATX back panel which will accommodate all of the motherboards I have reviewed to date in  the Digest.  The ATX panel is bit on the thin side, but should work ok.  There are only two knock-outs: for one DB-9 and one DB-25 connector.  I would have preferred one more DB-25 knock-out Baby AT motherboard printer/second serial connector.

POWER SUPPLY.  According to A-Top's Web site, the AT589 comes with a 230W power supply.  The one I received has a Tough Power ATX power supply which, according to the label, is rated at 250W, and has all of the usual credentials.  You can certainly hear the fan, but when you feel the back of the power supply you can also tell it really is pushing a lot of air from inside the case to the exterior, which, by the way, is the opposite direction preferred in the ATX specification--no big deal.  The power supply is vertical along the left side of the upper-back of the case.  This makes it little more difficult to work with rear, left corner of a motherboard, which is partially obscured by the power supply, but where most of the venting is located on the power supply and where the venting will be right over the CPU on most Pentium II/III motherboards, such as the Abit BH6.  This power supply only has two drive supply wires with a total one 3 1/2 and four  5 1/4" drive power supply plugs.  That is, the power supply has fewer plugs for drives than the case has bays for drives!  One thing I do like is the real power On/Off switch right on the back of the power supply in addition to the ATX Power-on capability activated by the front panel switch and motherboard.

FAN AND VENTING.  This case is very well designed for good ventilation.   There are air holes in the lower front and rear of the case.  There is a good channel for air at the bottom of the front panel.   Air circulation from the front bottom, over the motherboard and CPU, and up and through the power supply looks good.  The case comes with large muffin fan if you ask for it when ordering the case.

Now for the flaws...  The only way you are going to secure this fan to the front of the case I received is with super-glue.  The tabs on the plastic fan-expansion card guide assembly do not fit the holes in the case.  The unit does not snap firmly into place as it should and falls-out with slightest jar.  Furthermore, I would have preferred a three-pin power connector on the fan so it can be plugged into the motherboard and monitored by the system monitor available on the motherboards I sell.

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